Become a defender of potential.
BECOME A BIG
After you fill out the application, schedule your volunteer training below. Once we receive your application, an Enrollment Specialist will be assigned to help you with all of your enrollment needs.
All volunteers are required to attend a volunteer training to learn more about BBBS before acceptance as a Big. Please CLICK HERE to select an upcoming date to attend training.
Once you apply, an Enrollment Specialist will reach out to schedule an in-person interview. Prior to scheduling, we require all volunteers to complete their Child Abuse History Clearance, Criminal Record Check, and FBI Fingerprints. Your Enrollment Specialist will share more information on each of these background checks.
Following the completion of your interview, training, background checks, and references, your file will be reviewed for approval.
Matches are made based on shared interests, proximity, and preferences. An Enrollment and Match Specialist will reach out to you when a match is found.
THE NEED FOR BIG BROTHERS
At Big Brothers Big Sisters, we’re always looking for more men to be mentors. We have boys ready and waiting to be matched with a role model. So tell the guys you know to sign up to become Bigs. They can do all the fun things they love to do already, like see movies, play video games, and go hiking, only now they'd get to enjoy it with a child who can truly benefit from it.
More than 70% of our children waiting for a Big are boys, but only 3 out of every 10 inquiries to volunteer come from men. Research shows that having the positive influence of a Big Brother makes a real difference in a boy's life. So join the hundreds of thousands of volunteers who give a young person someone to look up to for answers.
A CALL TO MEN OF COLOR
Disproportionately the children we serve and those waiting to be matched are African-American and Hispanic boys. Their parents seek our support, knowing a Big Brother can recognize their son's potential and model positive choices that put him on the path for success in and out of school.
UNEIKE & SHANNON
About the Match: Since they were matched in April 2016, Big Sister Shannon & Little Sister Uneike have become close friends and creative comrades. They love painting, drawing, and doing crafts. They also enjoy having adventures at places like Kennywood.
Memorable Moment: Uneike painted a piece of artwork Shannon felt everyone should see, so she decided to surprise her Little Sister by having it put on display at Blick Art Materials Shadyside. Uneike was amazed to have her creation shared publicly and was unbelievably appreciative for her Big Sister's role in making it happen. Shannon said, "I could not even explain the fulfillment and joy I had seeing how happy she was."
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Mentoring is the act of providing guidance and friendship to someone who could use a role model for life's choices and decisions. Through mentoring, volunteers can help others reach goals and improve self-esteem. When mentoring children, volunteers offer to help build a strong foundation for youth as they grow.
Someone volunteers to develop a relationship with a young person, offering support and guidance. By spending time together, learning new things, and enjoying friendship, the mentor helps the young person make better life choices.
Big Brothers Big Sisters pioneered youth mentoring in 1904. We are the industry leader in mentoring services to children. An independent national study surveyed our programs and methods spanning a five-year period. This research found that children involved in Big Brothers Big Sisters mentoring programs were more likely to graduate and stay out of trouble when compared to their peers without mentors. They also found that youth enrolled in our program improved their school grades and relationships with others.
Our program has proven results.
We serve youth throughout Allegheny, Greene, and Washington Counties.
Share an activity that gives you something in common to talk about. Go to the library, check out a book and read together. Buy a comic book to read together. Play a board game. Go on a nature walk. Hit a bucket of golf balls at the local driving range. Take a ride in the car with the radio on and talk about the music you like. You want to select activities that give each of you a chance to learn more about one another. For children, playing can be learning. Most important: keep it simple and enjoy yourselves!
If you are a community-based Big, be sure to request access to our Bigs Only section for exclusive access to event tickets.
The quality of the time you invest with your Little is more important than the amount of money you spend. That’s why we don’t encourage spending a lot of money on your outings. The goal of the relationship is to help your Little see the world through a different lens so you can inspire your Little to become something they never thought possible. If you are going to spend money, we encourage you to seek out low-cost activities, especially in the beginning. Play a game together, or share that pizza that you were going to have for lunch anyway. Big Brothers Big Sisters agencies offer donor-supported group activities that are a great way to meet other Bigs and Littles. As a Big, you may also receive notices for free tickets to cultural and sports activities for you both to enjoy.
In the beginning it’s most important for you and your Little to get to know each other. This can happen best on a one-to-one basis. However, over time it’s also valuable for your Little to get to know the people who are important to you. Just keep in mind that if you’re spending lots of time with others, your Little may begin to feel left out. The main focus is the friendship you develop with your Little.
Once you are matched with your Little, a Match Support Specialist from the agency will be in regular contact with you to provide assistance and give feedback. Any time you are unsure about what to do or how to handle a situation, you will have a Match Support Specialist there to help. They’ll help you with ideas for activities, guidance for handling possible difficult situations, and feedback on how you are making a difference.